(Fred Lynch) [Order this photo]
Nearly 200 people came to St. Paul Lutheran Church for the third annual event, which raised $1,630 for the Jackson Ministerial Alliance as collection baskets were passed around. The ministerial alliance provides food and lodging to those stranded or in need.
As the New McKendree United Methodist Church choir took center stage, the audience readied their hymn books to sing along with the opening song, "Lift Every Voice and Sing." An American flag shared the altar with symbols of worship, exhibiting the festival's theme "Celebrating our freedom while worshipping God."
The crowd, a mixture of teens as well as the elderly, were asked to sing along.
"It was overjoying," said Ethel Priest, one of the audience members. "No one should exit with a low spirit."
The idea for the festival according to Matt Palisch, director of music and worship at St. Paul Lutheran, arose three years ago and was based on other Christian music festivals that used contemporary Christian music instead of traditional hymns.
"It's a glorious opportunity to stand next to each other as brothers and sisters to praise the glory of God." said the Rev. Sam Roethemeyer, president of the Ministerial Alliance, referring to the mix of Lutheran, Methodist and Baptist among others attending and performing in the festival.
"It's wonderful to hear other churches' choirs." said Tom Gross, one of the chorus members from Zion United Methodist Church in Gordonville.
During the rendition of "God Our Fathers," all choirs gathered for the Mass Choir. The volume of the song increased throughout as choir members moved up the center aisle and into their spots. After the Mass Choir assembled, the singers performed "Battle Hymn of the Republic" filling the stage.
223 W. Adams St., Jackson, MO